Girls basketball: Southwick pulls away late to defeat Turners (PHOTOS)

  • Turners Falls' Madi Liimatanien (22) shoots in the lane against Southwick during action on Tuesday night in Turners Falls. STAFF PHOTO/Paul Franz

  • Turners Falls' Taylor Greene (11) is defended by Southwick's Sophia Andrade (15) during action on Tuesday night in Turners Falls. STAFF PHOTO/Paul Franz

  • Turners Falls' Keira Richardson-Meattey (21) looks to pass past Southwick's Avery Burkholder (11) during action on Tuesday night in Turners Falls. STAFF PHOTO/Paul Franz

  • Turners Falls' Taylor Greene (11) advances the ball against Southwick during action on Tuesday night in Turners Falls. STAFF PHOTO/Paul Franz

  • Turners Falls' Madi Liimatanien (22) looks to pass past Southwick's Sophia Andrade (15) during action on Tuesday night in Turners Falls. STAFF PHOTO/Paul Franz

  • Turners Falls' Lily Spera (20) pulls down a rebound against Southwick during action on Tuesday night in Turners Falls. STAFF PHOTO/Paul Franz

  • Turners Falls' Steph Peterson (42) is defended by Southwick's Ellie Westcott (23) during action on Tuesday night in Turners Falls. STAFF PHOTO/Paul Franz

  • Turners Falls' Madi Liimatanien (22) shoots against Southwick's Sophia Andrade (15) during action on Tuesday night in Turners Falls. STAFF PHOTO/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 1/24/2023 9:14:56 PM
Modified: 1/24/2023 9:14:30 PM

TURNERS FALLS — A late push by the Southwick girls basketball team was the difference on Tuesday night.

The Rams entered the final eight minutes leading Turners Falls by a 29-25 margin, but a basket down low from Lily Spera and a converted and-one from Madi Liimatainen gave the Thunder a 30-29 lead early in the fourth. 

Both teams continued to trade baskets, but after an Abbi Holloway hoop cut the Southwick lead to 37-36, the Rams answered with a 7-0 run to take command of the game. The visitors ultimately took down Turners for a 44-39 independent win.

“We ran out of gas in the fourth quarter,” Thunder coach Jim Cadran said. “They were getting to every loose ball. We were there we just couldn’t get to it. I can’t be upset with the effort. The girls competed hard all night.”

Taylor Greene converted a pair of baskets to help Turners (5-6) keep pace in the fourth quarter, the second giving the Thunder a 34-33 lead with just over five minutes to play. 

Emily Hanifan and Ellie Westcott scored back-to-back buckets to put the Rams up 37-34 before Holloway’s basket cut the lead to 37-36. 

Westcott scored on a layup, Maggie Cronin knocked down a free throw, Westcott drilled two from the charity stripe and Brielle Ensign scored down low to give Southwick (7-2) a 44-36 lead with 1:23 to go. 

“We started getting flat-footed on defense and they were getting in front of us and got some easy shots,” Cadran said. “The first three quarters we made them work for everything.” 

Morgan Dobias sank a 3 and a free throw while Liimatainen put in two baskets, though the Thunder were behind 9-8 at the end of the first quarter. 

The Turners defense took over in the second quarter, holding the Rams to just six points while Tatiana Williams, Greene and Dobias scored for the Thunder, with the game tied 15-15 at the half. 

Turners kept itself in the game in the third quarter at the free throw line, knocking down four from the charity stripe, while Williams, Greene and Spera converted baskets in the frame. Ensign had the hot hand for Southwick, scoring six points in the quarter to help the Rams build a 29-25 lead heading into the fourth. 

Liimatainen and Greene led the way with nine points with Williams adding seven points and Spera and Dobias each tacking on six points for Turners. 

The loss was the final independent game on the Thunder’s schedule, a difficult slate that included games against Frontier, Greenfield, Pope Francis and Easthampton. 

Turners hopes that the tough non-conference slate will prepare it for its league schedule down the stretch as the Thunder look to gain a spot in the state tournament for a second straight year. 

“We’ve had a pretty good independent schedule,” Cadran said. “This is a good Southwick team. They were long and I thought they would outrebound us but we stayed right there with them.” 

Turners closes out the week against the two top teams in the Franklin County League South, hosting Pioneer on Thursday before Franklin Tech makes the short drive over on Friday. 


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